The Gauhati High Court refused to invoke its inherent powers to quash an order holding a person to be a foreigner since the accused had admitted his guilt before the said court, and had failed to produce any documents.
Justice Rumi Kumari Phukan observed that there was nothing illegal in the trial court’s order which sentenced the accused to imprisonment for being a foreigner and noted that the accused had not produced the documents he was now presenting, at the investigation stage or even before the trial court. “The inherent power under Section 482 CrPC cannot be exercised in a routine manner unless it is shown that the miscarriage of justice has been done in a given case,” the bench said.
The petitioner, Md. Amir Khan filed a petition under section 482 of the CrPC seeking quashing of order passed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Cachar, passed in PRC Case No.913/2019 arising out of case filed under the Foreigners Act.
In the impugned order dated July 10, 2019, the trial court framed charges under section 14-A of the Foreigners Act against the petitioner and three others who pleaded guilty for the alleged offence and were accordingly convicted to undergo simple imprisonment for two years and fine of Rs.10,000. The trial court also directed the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar to take necessary steps for their deportation, after completion of their jail term.
The background is that information was received that some Rohingya people were residing as tenants in the Sonarighat area and a raid was conducted there. Eight people were found who admitted that they came from Bangladesh via Tripura.
The petitioner contended that he is a permanent resident of village Motinagar of West Tripura District and even submitted a birth certificate and school leaving certificate to support this claim. He submitted that he is not a foreigner and upon wrong advice of the engaged counsel, the accused persons pleaded guilty and accordingly they were convicted by the learned trial Court. The petitioner, thus, sought quashing of the order and directions to frame fresh chargers and initiate fresh trial.
The court observed that the petitioner failed to produce any sort of documents at the time of investigation and also did not indicate at the time of framing of charges that he had certain documents he could produce in support of his case, and instead pleaded guilty.
“That being so, the petitioner on being pleaded guilty and serving around one year sentence, has come up with the present petition with certain documents, which he never produced before the I/O as well as before the court, now challenged the impugned order, which cannot be accepted,” the court said.
The court noted that there appeared no illegality in the trial court’s order so as to invoke inherent powers of the court under section 482 of CrPC.
“The inherent power under Section 482 CrPC cannot be exercised in a routine manner unless it is shown that the miscarriage of justice has been done in a given case. There being no such cogent ground to interfere with the order passed by the learned trial court, the petition is hereby dismissed,” the court held.
The complete judgement may be read here: